Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh


My dear children,
Karen is trying today to explain to us the uphill efort of Peter and Paul towords Rome.

'Neither the Greeks nor the Roman had ever separated religion from secular life.
They had no authoritative scriptures:
- no compulsory beliefs, 
- no distinct clergy, and
- no obligatory ethical rules.
There was no ontological gulf separating the gods from men and women; 
each human being had a numen or genius that was divine, and gods regularly took human form.

Gods were part of the citizen body so the Greco-Roman city was essentially a religious community.
Each city had its own divine patron, and civic pride, financial interest and piety were intertwined in a way that would seem strange in our secularised world.
Participating in the religious festivals in honour of the city's gods was essential to city life: there were no public holidays or weekends, so the Lupercalia in Rome or the Panathenaea in  Athens were rare opportunities for relaxation and celebration.
These rituals defined what it meant to be a Roman or an Athenian, put the city on show, invested civic life with transcendent menaing, presented the community at its best, and gave citizens the sense of belonging to a civic family.
Participating in these rituals was just as important as any personal devotion to the gods.
To belong to a city, therefore, was to worship its gods - though it was perfectly acceptable to worship other deities too.

This was potentially problematic for Paul's  and Peter's Jewish and gentile  converts in Antioch, Corints, Philippi, Ephesus and Rome, who, as monotheists, regarded  Roman religion as idolatrous' ( Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood).

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